Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.
The world around us is rushing towards destruction. It is almost like we are surrounded by people riding canoes in a rushing river without a paddle. Most are so focused on enjoying the ride that they have no clue about where this river may be taking them.
Jesus told His disciples that the road leading to destruction is “broad”. It is wide and it is the road most people choose to travel. Unfortunately, it seems the majority of people who identify themselves as Christian are also traveling this road.
We previously talked about the need for focus to walk in the plan of God. Pursuing that plan will require us to turn our canoe the opposite direction that society around us is traveling. It will require us to paddle against the current!
There will be critics who will accuse us of being fanatical when we choose to move opposite of those around us. The Church pews are filled with people who are satisfied with things as they are. The decision to pursue the plan of God with our entire heart is one that will rock the proverbial boat!
I have heard ministers talk about how easy it is to follow the plan of God. The opposite is true because Satan will use every weapon at his disposal to knock us off of the path we are called to walk.
It will not be easy to pursue the plan of God but we will not be alone in our journey! The Holy Spirit will be in the canoe with us. He will take up an oar and help steer us as we start moving against the current of this world’s system.
Satan is not the only one who will resist us on this journey. Friends, coworkers, and even our unrenewed minds will also resist. Success will require us to follow the direction given to Joshua (Joshua 1:8) by committing time every day for meditation in the Word of God.
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
The first step in our journey to find the plan of God will be to present ourselves as “living sacrifices”. Paul tells us that this is our “reasonable service”.
Have you ever seen a sacrifice on an altar? I’ve never seen one personally but have seen them depicted in drawings and videos. They are placed on an altar and consumed by fire. This is not a pleasant process but the sacrifice has no choice but to stay on the altar! It will stay there until it is consumed fully.
The process of becoming a living sacrifice is something that is not discussed much in churches today. Old timers used to refer to this as “dying to self”. We will not fulfill the plan of God if we do not first become a living sacrifice!
It is important for us to notice that Paul did not just tell us to become living sacrifices. He went on to say that we must also renew our minds with Scripture. It will not be possible for us to “prove” the plan of God without first moving through the transforming process of having our minds renewed by God’s Word!
26 And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;
27 And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.
28 For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
29 But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.
Jesus compared the Word of God to seed. We cast this “seed” into the ground of our hearts by spending time with it.
Planting natural seeds will require effort. Planting Word seed is no different. We will have to invest time and effort to plant God’s seed in our hearts.
A farmer cannot walk into a new field and immediately begin planting seed. The ground must be prepared. Things like nutrients, soil composition, and soil texture must all be considered if our goal is to produce maximum harvest.
3 Hearken; Behold, there went out a sower to sow:
4 And it came to pass, as he sowed, some fell by the way side, and the fowls of the air came and devoured it up.
5 And some fell on stony ground, where it had not much earth; and immediately it sprang up, because it had no depth of earth:
6 But when the sun was up, it was scorched; and because it had no root, it withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up, and choked it, and it yielded no fruit.
8 And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.
9 And he said unto them, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Most Christians approach this parable as a description of four types of ground. Could it be that there is only one type? The Word is planted in a human heart. If this is true, how could there be four types of human hearts?
If there is only one type of soil, what was Jesus describing? I believe that this parable is meant to describe four stages of growth. We will discuss this in more detail as we progress in the study. At this point it is just a thought I am asking you to consider.
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